Re: [gardeners] Re: Mycorrhiza questions...

Liz Albrook (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 09:00:29 +0000

Margaret Lauterbach <> wrote:

> I don't think we all have access to a botanist.  At least I don't. 
> What did yours say?  Margaret

Mine said that mycorrhiza  are specific to species of plants.  
For example, Don in CA is selling the fungi for use with tomatoes -- 
he has a strain that will grow and work with tomatoes.  It may grow 
and work with a few other plants, too.  But there is no general 
purpose mycorrhiza that is the answer to everyone's problems or that 
will work with every plant.  The last time I read Don's postings they 
were testing their strain on many plants but it was sort of a shotgun 
type approach -- there's no way to predict which plants will form a 
symbiotic relationship with a particular strain.

I have real questions about the usefulness of using any form of these 
fungi in an organic garden such as yours -- one in which tomatoes are 
planted in the same location year after year.   My own anecdotal 
experience is that tomatoes replanted year after year in the same 
soil grow exceptionally well.  My guess is that part of that result 
comes from soil microbes that become established and flourish year 
after year -- not necessarily just a single type of fungus but a 
balance of many types of organisms.